Videos on Facebook are highly popular. That popular, that Facebook just took the second place in the world's largest Internet video hosting listing, just behind YouTube and in front of any other video service on the Internet.
The Internet is filled with support requests of Facebook users who cannot play videos on the popular social networking site. This guide takes a look at some of the more common problems associated with playback problems of videos on Facebook, offering quick and easy solutions for those.
Update: Facebook uses HTML5 Video now to play videos in most situations. This switch resolved many of the issues associated with video playback using Adobe Flash.
Facebook has two basic recommendations to fix video playback problems on the site. Users are asked to exit the browser and start it to try to play the video again, and to update the browser to the most recent web browser version.
Another option that Facebook users have is to use a different browser to see if it resolves the issue. End
The most important fact that Facebook users need to know is that Facebook uses Adobe Flash to show and play videos on their website. The most common problems therefor are linked to Adobe Flash.
To begin, users should visit the official Adobe website to check if the Flash Player is properly installed on their system and their web browser.
The page checks if the Flash Player plugin is running in the browser. The next step is to verify that the Flash player version is the latest version released by Adobe. To do that, users need to compare the version displayed on the first page, with the version displayed on the Get Flash Player page.
Most video playing problems on Facebook are related to Flash Player. What makes matters worse is that Flash needs to be installed differently, depending on the browser used. For Microsoft's Internet Explorer, it has to be installed like any other Windows application. For Firefox and Opera, it has to be installed as a browser plugin, and for Chrome, it is already included.
A good option therefor is to check if the video is playing in another browser. The best browser for that is Google Chrome, due to the fact that Flash comes preinstalled in it. Just download the browser and visit Facebook afterwards.
Log into your Facebook account and load a page containing a video. If that plays properly, it is likely a Flash player conflict in the other browser. Either that no Flash Player is installed at all, that it is disabled or corrupt.
A good idea then is to uninstall all Adobe Flash installations and restart the computer, before installing Flash again. This should fix the videos not working problems on Facebook. Alternatively, it is possible to simply use a browser where videos play properly.
To sum it up to this point:
Another option is to take a closer look at the error message displayed. Is it showing "Video disabled by YouTube", "unavailable" or "disabled by YouTube" or something similar? This can be an indication that the video itself has been disabled, deleted or blocked by the video hosting service. A good option then is to find another video on Facebook to verify the findings. If that video plays then videos are working properly on Facebook.
Another common problem why videos are not working on Facebook is third party software that interacts with the video stream, for instance another browser plugin or software that tries to speed up the delivery of the video to the local PC. It is a good idea to disable those temporarily to make sure that they are not the cause for Facebook videos not working.
You may also want to clear the web browser cache, to remove any local copies on the computer. This forces the browser to retrieve the video information again from the source. It sometimes happens that corrupt copies are stored locally, and clearing the cache resolves those issues.
Take a look at web browser maintenance for instructions on how to do that.
Finally, if you are stuck, you should research the exact error message to see if other users are experiencing similar problems. Chance is, they are with Facebook's 500+ million users.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.